HMRC Update

At ABGI we are proud of our close working relationship with HMRC.

17 December 2019


At ABGI we are proud of our close working relationship with HMRC. We discuss claims with them every week and meet every few months to discuss market developments, understand their current and future priorities and align with their interpretation on what activities they deem to be eligible. We’d like to share some updates from our most recent meeting.

  • As many of you are aware, HMRC has had a significant backlog in assessing claims and making payments. Some clients have been waiting eight months as HMRC prioritised SME over RDEC claims. The good news is that they have recently caught up to date.
  • HMRC also noted that the number of claims submitted to them had increased by 165% - a great deal more than was expected.
  • They also announced that the Wealthy and Mid-Sized Business Compliance (WMBC) Unit will hand over the processing of R&D claims to the Business Tax Compliance (BTC) Unit. There are far more staff in the BTC Unit which should mean HMRC is able to keep to its target-times for processing claims. The WMBC Unit will continue to deal with the security of payments and technical aspects of claims (i.e. compliance checks). The hope is that this change will avoid the levels of delays experienced throughout this year.
  • This change however, should free up resources in the WMBC team to enquire into claims. You are well aware that we only submit robust and justifiable claims to HMRC and will defend any enquiries as part of our inclusive service.
  • The most common cause for HMRC investigations continues to be poor technical justification. This often happens when accountants or tax advisers do the work themselves or ask clients to write the technical report. ABGI has a large team of technical experts who have the qualifications, expertise and industry experience to quickly and accurately identify eligible R&D.